Lord & Taylor is going out of business.
The iconic luxury retailer, which became the country’s first department store in 1826, announced it will close all of its remaining stores with liquidation sales kicking off today.
The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on August 2, at first planning to keep 19 of its 38 locations open, but cutting that number to 14 just a few weeks later. And now, it’s deciding that everything must go.
But literally—everything must go—even the mannequins, the clothing racks, and the armchairs from the fitting rooms. “Deep discounts plus departmental promotions will be effective throughout the sale process in store and online,” the company said in a statement. “Discounts apply to existing inventory, new store arrivals and on new categories not previously sold at these stores. The historic event will also feature the sale of in store fixtures, furniture, and equipment.”
Lord & Taylor, which was sold to clothing rental upstart Le Tote in 2019, has a long history of trailblazing: As America’s first department store, it pioneered the idea of the personal shopper, and following World War II, it was the first major retailer helmed by a woman.
It’s now the latest in a line of retail bankruptcies during the coronavirus pandemic. Fellow department stores J.C. Penney, Neiman Marcus, and Stein Mart all filed for bankruptcy in recent months, with J.C. Penney and Neiman Marcus restructuring while Stein Mart liquidates.
And as department stores fall, the retail apocalypse marches on. Coresight Research estimates that roughly 25% of America’s 1,000 malls will shut down within five years as the pandemic devastates apparel vendors, experiential shopping, and movie theaters, which make up roughly 90% of all mall tenants.
It’s a gloomy forecast—but perhaps you can make the best of it by getting to your local mall today, to snag 40%-off tags at Lord & Taylor.